Billy Elliot is about to sweep Broadway off its feet. The 2000 indie smash about a young boy who wants to study ballet is being adapted into a Broadway musical by the film's director Stephen Daldry and pop superstar Elton John. "It's in the very early stages," Daldry tells TV Guide Online. "Elton John's writing the music, and the plan is for me to direct."
Daldry who won his first Oscar nomination for helming Billy Elliot says that Mr. Rocket Man is borderline obsessed with his latest theater undertaking. (John also did the music for Broadway's Aida and The Lion King.) "He's up all the time [working on it]," the filmmaker laughs. "He's always calling me up playing me new songs. He'll say, 'Wanna hear a new song? I'll put you on speaker phone!'"
Unlike the movie's T-Rex-dominated soundtrack, Billy Elliot: The Musical will feature entirely original songs. "It's all Elton John," he says. "You gotta change. You gotta do something else. He's got some great ballads."
The biggest challenge awaiting Daldry and Co. will be finding a young boy to succeed the pic's phenomenal star Jamie Bell, who at 17, has aged out of the role. What's more, the new Billy's "got to sing this time as well as dance," says Daldry, who seems to be keeping expectations for the project low. Asked if the show will go straight to the Great White Way, he snickers: "It'll probably start in New Castle, Conn. We have to find out if it works first!"